The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Purchasing a Piano

The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Purchasing a Piano

As a piano dealer in business for many years, we’ve helped a lot of families purchase a piano and bring music into their lives. We can usually tell within the first few minutes of talking with a buyer how successful their music journey will be. 

It’s in their approach. It’s in the questions they ask. 

If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a piano, whether for yourself or your child, starting with better questions will give you an edge towards success. 

Here are the biggest mistakes we see when a buyer comes in looking to purchase a piano:

What’s the cheapest way I can get a piano to see if my child sticks with it before investing more?

This seems logical; why spend a lot of money on an instrument if your child hates it from the very first lesson? Yet by taking this approach, you’re setting your child up for failure before they ever touch a key on the piano. You’re telling them from the start you don’t believe they’ll stick with the process. Most buyers with this approach wind up leaving the store and finding a cheap keyboard from a big box store that is little more than a toy. When their child quits in a few weeks, their point is proven, and they move on to the next hobby. 

Can’t I just rely on the internet to learn?

Yes, there are a wide variety of tools and resources online. Head to YouTube and you’ll find a plethora of videos that show you how to play the piano. Search using a keyword like “play the piano” and you’ll find a wealth of information:

  • Play the piano for beginners
  • Play the piano with your computer keyboard
  • Play the piano like a pro
  • Play the piano easy songs
  • Play the piano by ear

Yep, the number of results goes on and on. Now try to pick a video and learn. We bet you’ll spend a lot of time even trying to find a video that’s high quality at best. You’ll spend far more time hunting for videos than you’ll actually spend learning. Learning from the internet is difficult at best. If you want true dedication to the craft of learning the piano, it’s much better to find quality resources from the beginning. 

What about Grandma’s piano? Isn’t that good enough?

This isn’t a bad choice at all. If you have a family heirloom, one you remember sitting down and playing when you were a kid, it can bring happy memories into your home. But understand what it might take to make Grandma’s piano worth playing. You’ll have to move it – try and move it yourself, and you might damage the inner workings of the piano. And if Grandma’s piano hasn’t been tuned in decades, it may take extensive renovation to bring it back to playing condition. Still, the memories may warrant the repair work. And if that’s something you’re interested in, we can talk more about that. 

Do you see yourself in any of this? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Whether you or your child wishes to bring music into your world, the best way to go about it is with a plan. 

With an open mind, stop by today. We’ll show you a variety of pianos, and give you a better idea of how to make your music plans successful.

Piano Shopping Tips For an Institution

Piano Shopping Tips For an Institution

Whether you’re a church needing several concert pianos, or a music school that needs workhorse pianos ready for daily playability, we have some tips for you. 

Buying one piano can be difficult. Buying multiple pianos can be daunting. What should you look for? What’s most important? Luckily, we have a few tips for you. 

Start with a plan

The first step is creating a plan. Where will each piano reside? How will they be played? Will you do better with an acoustic or a digital?

Digital may be a lower entry point, but they aren’t always the best choice. If portability is an issue, they can offer flexibility. But for overall playability, you’ll probably do better with acoustic. 

An upright is designed to save space, and will be a great addition to a smaller room. If you are using it for concerts, a grand piano may be better to suit your needs. Size may be a consideration, but you’ll find concert pianos from 5’1” up to 9’ and bigger. 

Create a budget

At this point of the buying process, it’s equally important to set up a clear and concise budget. Pianos come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and you might be willing to go with a lower model in some areas in order to place a higher quality instrument where sound will be more important. Used pianos may be an option to help you stick with your budget while getting the highest quality piano as possible. 

Consider maintenance

Before finalizing your purchase, you should also consider maintenance. Pianos need regular tuning, but depending on age, they may need more:

  • Voicing
  • Pitch regulation
  •  Key replacement
  • Cleaning
  • Lubrication

A piano dealer can give you a clearer picture of what to expect, and may help you find the right technician for the job. That way you’ll feel better about ensuring your piano investment will be a wise decision for many years to come. 

Testing

Who will be playing the instruments? It might be a good idea to bring them along to help finalize the decision. Have them sit down and play them. Is this something they feel will suit your institution’s needs? 

Pay attention to: 

  • How the piano looks – will it bring ambiance to the room it’s placed in?
  • How it sounds – will the voice work in the room?
  • How it feels – do the keys have a smooth surface and grip well?
  • How it compares to others – are you making the best choice?

Investing in a piano isn’t something you’ll do regularly. It’s important to spend a little extra time getting what will suit your needs best.

How can we help you find the right piano for your institution?

Yes, You Can Afford a High Quality Piano

Yes, You Can Afford a High Quality Piano

How much does a piano cost? If your child has expressed an interest in playing piano, you might be a little nervous about investing in an instrument. The size, the complex features, all point to something that’s going to hit your budget hard. 

Yet you want what’s best for your child. And they want to play. 

Can you afford a high quality piano? Or will you resort to finding something less-than-stellar at a garage sale, or pick up a toy piano and hope for the best?

How to afford a high quality piano

Before settling for a poor quality piano based on price alone, let’s talk about the importance of a high quality instrument. 

Would you attempt to start playing basketball … and use a flat ball?

Or start downhill skiing … with toy skis?

Of course not. We understand that to make the most of a hobby, and to stay safe while doing so, it’s important to have the right equipment. Without it, you’ll never pick up the nuances of settling into your new hobby. Nor will you enjoy the process. 

While you might need professional level equipment, you do need certain standards to ensure you make the most of your time practicing. It has to make the process enjoyable. 

Can you imagine playing a piano where the notes were all out of key? Or the sound was tinny, anything but pleasing? Eventually, you would no longer participate in the process. 

How piano dealers can help you

When you hunt through Craigslist, you might find a high quality instrument if you weed through all of the listings, trying to find one that suits your needs. What you’re more likely to find is a lot of pianos that have been abandoned, without playing, without maintenance, until someone decides to move them out of their home. 

This rarely offers a high quality sound. 

Dealers only sell high quality pianos. They offer new and used, at every price point, and of varying degrees of quality. From startups to professionals, a piano dealer offers every level of piano to suit your needs. 

They can also help with financing. Because they are a retail dealer, they have a variety of options available for you. 

But it all starts with a first step … coming in and discussing your needs and desires. 

Whether you’re just starting and have never touched a piano before, or have specific wants and desires in mind, we have a solution to suit your needs. 

Yes, you can afford a high quality piano. 

It starts by stopping by today. We look forward to working with you. 

Are You Looking For The Perfect Church Piano?

Are You Looking For The Perfect Church Piano?

Today’s churches bring music into their congregation in many ways. And while that increasingly means everything from robust recording systems to full-blown bands, it almost always starts with a piano. 

Piano has been the base for music inside a church for decades. Yet finding the perfect piano is anything but easy. We find that many churches “deal” with an old piano they’ve had for years. Or they “adopt” one from a member giving one away. 

If this sounds like your story, how is it working for you? Is the piano doing its job well, or do you feel there’s room for improvement? 

When we talk with directors and decision makers, we often make a few recommendations to help them select the perfect piano:

Consider the final location

Churches are notorious for placing a piano in harsh conditions. Is it in an area where temperatures and humidity levels change frequently? Especially if you move the piano around a lot, it may deal with extreme heat followed by winter cold. And humidity may move up and down the scale. Pianos consist of more than 10,000 parts, and none of them stand up well to extreme conditions. Wood soaks up everything that happens in the environment, contracting and expanding over and over again. That can be hard on all parts, causing the piano to consistently go out of tune. If you take into account the conditions of the piano from the start, it will help you make a better decision at the time of purchase. 

Skip the free pianos

Churches are always on the lookout for ways to save money. If someone is offering a free piano, there might be a reason. Was it sitting in a garage or basement for years gathering dust? If it wasn’t well cared for throughout its life, it’d be of little value to you now. Finding the perfect piano for your church ensures a lifetime of playability. This is something you’ll use almost daily, bringing your community together. And if it doesn’t sound good, everyone will hear it. 

What are your needs?

Small congregations may do well with a standard acoustic piano. Larger churches may need something to plug into the PA system. Instead of thinking about it after the fact, make it a part of your considerations from the beginning. Hybrid pianos are specifically built to offer you the benefits of a high quality acoustic with the performance quality of a digital. This ensures the right sound is presented in every situation. 

Pianos are hard to move

If you require more than one piano, purchasing one for all locations may be your better choice than moving it. Pianos are delicate instruments that can be impacted even with tiny adjustments. If you will be moving the piano regularly, maybe it’s time to think about purchasing more than one piano. 

Have a question about buying a piano for your church? Just ask. With our expertise, we’ll help you find the right piano for your situation.

Tips For Buying a Piano in 2022

Tips For Buying a Piano in 2022

Want to play the piano this year? It starts by buying a piano perfect to suit your needs. 

But with so many different choices, where do you begin? What are the most important qualities to look for when buying a piano? We can narrow it down to three things:

  • A full 88-key keyboard
  • Weighted keys
  • High quality tonal sound

Whether you focus on purchasing an upright, grand, or digital piano, there are several things you should ensure your piano has. 

A full keyboard

When you first sit down and touch a few keys, having a full 88-key keyboard may seem intimidating. You’ll use the full range sooner than you think. Not having a full keyboard can hinder your progress. Depending on what genres of music you move towards will open up how many keys you use. It’s better to have the proper equipment in place as you start, to ensure you have the equipment necessary when you need it. 

Weighted keys

The more you grow as a musician, the more you may want to transfer your skills to different settings. Want to sit down at a piano in a friend’s home, a local church, or play for a small audience? Pianos are designed with some resistance to increase playability. Learning on weighted keys gives your fingers practice in transferring your skills to any piano you sit down at. Practicing on a piano with weighted keys ensures your skills will last a lifetime. 

High quality sound

If you’ve ever heard the tinny sound that comes from a toy piano, you know not all sound is created equal. Because every piano is built differently, you’ll notice a different sound from each instrument you play. Playing the piano is about making music. If you don’t like the sound you hear, you’ll never fully enjoy playing the piano. Sit down before you purchase a new piano. Do you like the way it sounds?

While many focus on price as their starting point for purchasing a piano, finding one you’ll be excited to play for years to come should be your top priority. 

If you have questions about buying the right piano to suit your needs, we can help you out. Stop by today and see our complete selection of pianos, and discover which is the right one to suit your needs. 

What Can Be Fixed on a Used Piano … And What Can’t

What Can Be Fixed on a Used Piano … And What Can’t

When you’re looking to bring a piano into your home, a used piano can be a good option. However, if you bring home a used piano of poor quality, it can hinder the ability to grow your music talent and enjoy the process. A poor quality instrument will:

  • Cost more in repair work
  • Produce a poor quality sound
  • Reduce playability
  • Make the process of playing no fun

The entire reason to play the piano is to enjoy the sounds and music you create. If a poor quality instrument doesn’t allow you to do that, you’re less likely to play. 

When shopping for a used piano, look at:

Brands – don’t skimp on quality. Choose a recognized and high-quality brand that will stand the test of time. 

Age of the piano – a piano has a reasonable lifespan, just like any other personal asset you may own. A top-quality brand that has been well cared for and well maintained can last anywhere from 20 to 100 years. The more you know about its history, the more assurance you’ll have for longevity. 

Playability – even if you’ve never played the piano before, the human ear is still wired for sound. Sit down and start playing every key, starting at the left of the keyboard, touching every note in order as you move to the right. Listen for variances in tone, and note severely out of tune, or a key that won’t play. Also note any buzzing or rattling noises. 

Inside and outside – while some individual sellers might fix up the cabinet and make it shine, telltale signs can often be discovered by peering inside. Fixing a chipped key is easy. Fixing a broken soundboard is all-encompassing. If you aren’t sure what to look for, having someone with you who can, or working with a reliable dealer can ensure you purchase a used piano that will be a part of your home for years to come. 

Things that may be easily fixed include:

  • Cabinet blemishes
  • Chipped keys
  • Missing strings
  • Loose tuning pins
  • Hammer felt

Things that aren’t easily replaceable or repaired include:

  • Pinblock
  • Piano bridges
  • Hammers

What questions do you have about buying a used piano?

What Price You Can Expect To Pay for a Used Piano

What Price You Can Expect To Pay for a Used Piano

When you hear the word “used,” it’s easy to be confused by the meaning. 

Used can encompass many different levels of use – gently used, or end-of-life. And for a piano, it can be a little intimidating trying to determine its worth. 

For many new piano players, a used piano is a perfect choice to start with as you discover the joy of playing. But if you begin to look around at the prices of used pianos, it can be a little confusing. 

How can one instrument command such a difference in pricing? 

How much should you really be willing to pay? 

Comparables

When you purchase something like a dishwasher, you select based on brand, features, and personal tastes. A piano isn’t much different. But when you’re new to music, it can be a little confusing comparing pianos. 

There are many different brands and manufacturers available in all levels of pricing. Some target new players, while some cater to professionals. You’ll see a wide variance in pricing, matching the quality of the piano and how it sounds while playing. 

Uprights are typically lower than grand pianos. In each of the styles, you’ll have different levels of quality – average, better, best. 

In the used market, you’ll have gently used pianos, with some instruments having been rebuilt. 

As you find brands you’re interested in, you can do a little investigating to determine the quality of the brand. You may even recognize some, such as Yamaha or Steinway. But don’t let an unknown brand push you away – there are many high-quality pianos on the market today. 

Condition

Brand matters. But the condition of the piano is what will give you playability for months or even years to come. 

There are two things to consider: playability and serviceability. 

When you sit down to play the piano, does it sound good to your ear? Does each of the keys play without sticking? Are they in tune as you move up the keyboard? Even a brand new player can hear when something is off. 

Serviceability also matters. If the piano hasn’t been tuned in years, it might not be able to hold a tuning. This goes beyond appearance. The cabinet may look great, but peering inside can alert you that the piano wasn’t well cared for. 

If you aren’t sure what to look for, trusting a reputable dealer will ensure you get a high-quality instrument. You can also bring along a trained pianist or technician to ensure the piano is truly in good working condition. 

3 Things To Know Before Saying YES To a Used Piano

3 Things To Know Before Saying YES To a Used Piano

Have you decided to enroll your kids in piano lessons? Congratulations! It’s one of the best gifts you can give your child. 

Yet finding a quality used piano can be a difficult task when you have no idea what you’re looking for. It’s easy to fall for “free” – you’ll find lots of ads giving away a piano for free. 

How do you know what to look for? How do you know what to choose?

Before you start looking, educate yourself a little on the most important aspects of a piano. It’ll help you make a better choice. 

What is a piano?

A piano is an instrument that makes beautiful music. It’s a conglomeration of 10,000 parts in which every one of them is used to create sound. 

You have wood and metal, strings and keys. The standard piano uses 88 keys to provide a full range of music. 

Every piece on a piano goes through changes as it sits, as it’s played, and as it ages. When constructed well, they can last for a very long time. 

But the strings used to move the keys and create the sounds will slowly move out of place. That’s where a tuner comes in, and ensures they are brought back into position. They adjust the tension to ensure it’s accurate again. 

How do I choose a piano?

Start researching piano brands and you can quickly get overwhelmed. How do you choose? Which one is best? Good news – it’s easier than you think. 

Very quickly, you’ll start to notice that some brands move to the top. When handmade pianos come out of Vienna, Germany, or Italy, they tend to get the highest prices. These are the pianos you’ll see on display when visiting your local symphony. It’s because of the sound they create. 

Yet as a beginner, you can start with something lower. What matters most is what sounds good to you. 

Sitting down and playing it will help you get a feel for the sound it creates. Is it chirpy? Is it tinny? Is it out of tune? This is where you’ll immediately hear the difference with a used piano that’s been sitting in the basement for years, unplayed and unconditioned. You can quite literally hear the difference. 

Watch for the biggest concerns

You don’t have to be a piano inspector to tell if you’re getting a good used piano. Instead, pay attention to what you’re looking at. 

Examine the exterior. Is there any visible damage to the outside?

Open the lid and peer inside. Is there evidence it was well cared for?

Inspect the keys. Ensure they are all even, not chipped, and movable. 

Ask questions like: when was the last time it was tuned? 

You’ll get a feeling about the quality even after a few minutes. 

Bypass the problems and move straight to quality

Instead of playing a guessing game with online shopping, or visiting garage sales in your local community, stopping by our location will provide you with a full range of high quality used pianos. 

We know the quality because we’ve inspected them ourselves. 

We can help you find the right used piano to suit your needs. 

Buying a Used Piano: Craigslist or Dealer, Which Is Better?

Buying a Used Piano: Craigslist or Dealer, Which Is Better?

When you’re in the market for buying a used piano, places like Craigslist can be appealing. With a quick search, you can bring up several pianos in your area. Who can ignore the low, low prices? And who can ignore catch-lines like: You haul it, it’s yours for free!

That can save you a lot of money when you’re first starting out with your new hobby. Why not take what you can find on Craigslist? What would make a piano dealer better?

#1 You’ll avoid a broken-down piano

If you’re an experienced piano player, you may recognize a faulty piano through pictures, the words the private party uses, or even from a first glance when you walk into the room. 

If you’re new to playing the piano, you don’t have that skillset yet. A piano may look good on the outside, but it could be a lemon in the ways it plays. 

When you buy a used piano from a dealer, their reputation is on the line. They thoroughly inspect all used pianos, make the necessary repairs, and sell it to you with confidence knowing you’ll be able to play it for a long time. 

#2 You’ll learn by comparing

A piano is a big-ticket item. It’s not something you’ll be replacing soon. As you make your final selection, it’s important to ensure you have a piano that sounds good to your ear. 

Buying through Craigslist means you have one opportunity to buy – take it or leave it. When you visit a dealer, they can show you multiple pianos at your price point. You can sit down and play them, hear them, and feel which one is right for you. 

#3 You’ll get a warranty

Private sellers have one goal in mind: to sell the piano. While you might be able to bring a technician along to check the piano over, you’ll be limited to making your decision in a short timeframe. 

When you trust a dealer who is a part of the community, you’ll have their reputation behind them. Their goal is to turn you into a happy customer who will tell others about your experience. They want to make you happy and put warranties behind the action. 

#4 Your piano will be delivered

Buy a piano from a private party and you’ll have to bring a truck with you. Try to move a piano yourself and you’ll discover just how bulky and heavy they are. (And fragile!)

Moving a piano takes a particular skill to ensure it arrives safely without damage. Damage doesn’t always show up on the outside. With over 10,000 pieces, it’s often the intricate details that matter most. With a dealer, they will ensure it arrives safely, and often provide the first tuning to make sure your piano is ready to play from the moment it’s delivered to your home.  

Are you thinking of buying a used piano?

Stop by today. We have an extensive line of high-quality used pianos that will reliably serve you for years to come. Why risk buying a used piano on Craigslist when you’ll receive the best. Compare, and find the right piano for you today. 

The Only Reason To Ever Buy a Piano

The Only Reason To Ever Buy a Piano

When we buy many things for our home, we tend to use a checklist to settle on the best choice. 

When you buy a piano, you need a different approach. 

Here’s why. 

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new dishwasher. Before you head to the store, you do a little research and define what’s best to suit your needs:

  • You measure your space
  • You find a quality brand with a good service record
  • You define what features you want your dishwasher to have
  • You select a color to match your decor

You don’t “fall in love” with a dishwasher. Instead, you find one that best suits your needs. It’s a workhorse inside your home, one you rely on every day. 

But a piano is different. If you take the same course of action when buying a piano, you’ll wind up purchasing a piano that doesn’t suit your tastes. 

Some people approach piano buying as a task-based exercise:

  • Measure the space
  • Set a budget
  • Select a color
  • Focus on price

But focusing on the specifications and not on the way the piano sounds can lead to buyer’s remorse. 

Pianos are a personal taste. They each produce sounds in a different way. And it’s that sound that makes you fall in love with making music. 

When you sit down to play, you experience the joy of creating a unique blend of sounds that all come together to create a song. 

If it’s out of tune, for example, hitting specific notes will make you cringe. It will make you pull back, not wanting to experience that again. And that might end your desire to play. 

If you’re in the market to buy a piano, why not ensure it’s the best instrument for you? Don’t buy the first one you see. Spend time with the instrument, and make sure the piano you select is ultimately the best one for you.